Undergraduate Brachypodium researcher Mike Veling wins prestigious Goldwater Scholarship Award

Since his freshman year in 2009, Mike Veling has worked in Dr. Samuel Hazen’s laboratory in the Biology Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Mike, a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology junior, is interested in protein-DNA interactions that influence plant biofuel attributes. Recently he gave the inaugural presentation at the 4th Annual Northeast Undergraduate Research Development Symposium in Buddeford, ME. His efforts have been supported by research fellowships from the Commonwealth Honors College. Now he will enjoy up to $7,500 per year for up to two years support from the Goldwater Foundation.

The purpose of the Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence Program is to nurture and recognize distinction in mathematics, science, and engineering by awarding scholarships to undergraduates that intend to pursue careers in these areas. A total of 1,123 students were nominated by their colleges and universities and 282 were selected for scholarships. Other University of Massachusetts awardees include Microbiology major Benjamin Waldman and Mathematics major Nicolas Zac Reyes. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major Saul Kushinsky was acknowledged by the Goldwater Scholarship Foundation with Honorable Mention.